Happy Spitter

We recently added our precious Melynne (Melanie) to the bunch so posts about babies will be popping up here and there.  Just recently she has been spitting up more and more which led me to do some research.  What I found is what is called “Happy Spitter.”  Every baby spits up or vomits occasionally, and some do quite often or even with every feeding. If, despite the spitting, your baby is

  • content
  • in no discomfort
  • growing
  • experiencing no breathing problems from the vomiting

she is what pediatricians call “a happy spitter” and no treatment is needed. Typically, the lower esophagus valve tightens up sometime in the first year, usually around 4-5 months of age, at which time the spitting up may go away.

For any spitter, there are a few things that might help:

  • Avoid overfeeding. Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t finish every ounce of formula or cuts breastfeeding short. Once an infant’s stomach is full, any extra will simply come back up.
  • Hold your baby upright during feedings and for at least 20 minutes afterward. Slumping in a high chair or laying down for a nap or diaper change puts pressure on an infant’s stomach, which can make the problem worse.  Try to wait at least 30 minutes after feeding before putting baby in her car seat.
  • Keep a constant flow into the bottle’s nipple if formula feeding your infant. Ingesting excess air can increase burping and trigger a spitting-up incident.
  • Burp your infant regularly during feedings to rid his stomach of excess air.
  • While it’s not uncommon for parents to think their infant’s formula is at fault, randomly changing formulas rarely helps. However, you might ask your physician about modifying the consistency. Feeding a pre-thickened formula or thickening regular formula with a little rice cereal sometimes helps.

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